A body has been recovered from the wreckage of a plane which crashed into the English Channel with Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala on board.
The plane flying from Nantes, France to Cardiff on January 21 went missing with the new £15million signing Sala and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, inside.
It remains unclear whether the body is that of the Argentine forward or Mr Ibbotson but a full examination by a coroner in Portland, Dorset, is due to take place.
Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) were used in ‘challenging conditions’ to pull the body out of the water ‘in as dignified a way as possible’, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said on Wednesday night.
The Piper Malibu aircraft remains more than 200 feet below water and is 21 miles off the coast of Guernsey in the English Channel as poor weather conditions stopped efforts to recover it.
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said: ‘Following extensive visual examination of the accident site using the remotely operated vehicle (ROV), it was decided to attempt recovery operations.
‘In challenging conditions, the AAIB and its specialist contractors successfully recovered the body previously seen amidst the wreckage. The operation was carried out in as dignified a way as possible and the families were kept informed of progress.’
The statement said it has not been possible to bring the wreckage to the surface and the operation has now ceased.
It continued: ‘Unfortunately, attempts to recover the aircraft wreckage were unsuccessful before poor weather conditions forced us to return the ROV to the ship.
‘The weather forecast is poor for the foreseeable future and so the difficult decision was taken to bring the overall operation to a close. The body is currently being taken to Portland to be passed into the care of the Dorset Coroner.